Search Engine Optimising #3

After following the last 2 weeks articles you should be in a position where you’ve optimised your site for the search engines, successfully submitted it and worked out a strategy to enable your site to be picked up by all the smaller engines by creating a number of links to your site from external pages which the search engines can follow.

This week we’re going to look at ways to monitor how your search engine optimisation is going as this will allow you to check that everything is working properly and also to improve the techniques you are using to create maximum exposure.

Use a Hitcounter – Hitcounters are extremely useful when determining where your traffic is coming from and how many people are visiting your site on a daily basis.One useful and free counter that I have found is the ‘lite’ version of Onestat (www.onestat.com).By placing a small bit of code on your site you can instantly track how many people are coming onto your site and whether they are getting to you by typing in your address specifically or whether it is via a search engine or a link from another page.If they have jumped to you indirectly (i.e. via a search engine) then it will let you know where they have come from and so, for example, I can see today that 42% of traffic for Refresh Cartridges has come from Google, 20% from people typing the address in directly and the remaining 38% has come from other sources.

A Hitcounter will also show you other useful data such as which countries your visitors are coming from and which browsers they are using; both are extremely important bits of data.For example, if you only sell to the UK market you want to ensure that 90% of your visitors aren’t coming from America and likewise you want to ensure that your page is properly set up for the browsers that the hitcounter indicates that your visitors are using.

Check your Google rating – Download the Google toolbar from http://www.google.co.uk/options/ and install it on your computer.It is only a small little program but it includes a feature that will tell you how important Google rates a particular page; use it to check yours and then work on making Google consider your page more important.Last week I explained how to do this by creating lots of links back to your site so keep working on these and you’ll find that the more important Google believes your site is then the higher it will rank it.

Check links to your page – Use a search engine such as Google (www.google.co.uk) or All the Web (www.alltheweb.com) and type in your website address as the search term.For example, type in www.refreshcartridges.co.uk as a search into Google and it will give you a list of options including the ability to see links that are pointing back to that page.You can use this to check up on how many people are linking to your site and this information can obviously be used to monitor how your search engine optimisation is progressing as well as checking up on links that your competitors have which can be useful if looking for new people to link back to you.If you do a search for your page and the search engine doesn’t recognise it then they have no record of it in their database so you have quite a bit of work to do yet.

Check out the competition – Search for a word in Google that is important to your business; for example, if you sell widgets then type in ‘widgets’ as a search term and see who comes top of the list.Go to their site and look at who they have linking to them, how their pages are laid out, the Meta tags they are using (see last week) and so on.They are obviously doing something right and there is no harm in learning what they are doing so that you can emulate it and hence position yourself better in the search engines

I’ll finish by asking you all to check out www.webmasterworld.com as it’s full of useful tips for getting your website maximum exposure.

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Top